Case Studies


Global market size and growth rate:

In 2019 The global pharmaceutical market reached $1,232 bn and it is forecast to post a 5.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) at constant exchange rates(CER) through to 2023 (BMI, 2019).

The following chart shows the global pharmaceutical market size and growth rate in USD billions:

Regional share:

By region, the global pharmaceutical market is segmented into Americas, Europe, Asia, and Middle East and Africa. Americas holds the largest share (38% of the global market).

Top 10 pharmaceutical companies in 2019:

According to Wikipedia, the top 10 pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical companies ranked by their revenue generated in 2019 are Johnson&Johnson, Roche, Sinopharm, Pfizer, Bayer, Novartis, Merck & Co., GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi and Abbvie.

The following chart shows the revenue for each company in USD billions:

Growth drivers:

Growth is driven by the following:

  • Drug affordability and disses prevalence
  • Increased focus on orphan drugs.


There are many challenges which slow down the growth to global pharmaceutical market, among them:

  • Patent expiry of blockbuster drugs together with difficulty to replenish the drying pipelines with new innovator molecules
  • Move towards low-priced generics supported by government policies to reduce the overall healthcare expenditure
  • Increase in R&D cost to develop new molecular entities (NMEs)

Structure of the global pharmaceutical market:

Pharmaceutical companies were classified into three main categories:

  • Big Pharma: which develop new chemical entities (small molecules)
  • Biotechnology companies which develop biologicals products
  • Generic companies which develop bioequivalent products of the research bases companies

Recently, the lines dividing these categories started to vanish as majority of big pharma started to develop and commercialize biotechnology products and brand name companies entered the generics arena.

Pfizer has the world's largest generic platform (Pfizer Established Products) through its subsidiary generic company Greenstone.

Branded vs generics market:

Over the last few years, generic drugs  have been gaining in volume and market share.  In 2016, generic drugs accounted for 88% of all prescriptions filled in the US and  (IQVIA, 2016).

The rise of generics share of the total market is due to the encouragement and promotion of generic use by governments and health plans which are dealing with rapidly increasing costs and aging populations.


Wikipedia, the list of largest biomedical companies by revenue

BMI, 2019

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